DEARTS Movement Choir:

top: 3/10/10; middle and bottom: 3/11/10. What was your personal experience being part of the MC ?

Kristi Spessard Dance Projects

DEARTS Movement Choir, front page of Kalamazoo Gazette,

March 11, 2010


128 Responses to DEARTS Movement Choir:

  1. Sylvia Seklecki says:

    At first I was a bit scared of what we were going to have to do, from watching the videos that Kristi showed us in class on Monday. I had no idea what to expect. The movement choir is out of the ordinary because its not a played out dance, its whatever you want to make of it. Going into the theater and sitting down in the parking lot, I knew we were going to have to get out of our comfort zones. I was in the white team, and we had to act like a train going up the stairs all the way to the study lounge. Coming in, everyone in there just stared and did not know what to do. I felt uncomfortable doing all of the things because I know that if I was the person looking at everyone I would be thinking, what are these people doing right now? After a while I guess it did not bother me much. But looking out the glass window I saw the red team and it looked like they were having more fun and my team was just doing weird things. The thing I liked the most was when we all came together and made a huge circle. It looked cool to see 150 students all in a circle, and you always had to wait for the person in front of you before you could start walking. It was a little hard but that was my favorite part. This was a good experience to get to know people in the class more and it was a good way to get out of the classroom and move around. Also it let many people get out of their comfort zone and let loose.

  2. Sarah-Ann Golden says:

    I really enjoyed this class. We were able to let loose and be wild. Not hold anything back. I was in the red group and if I had to pick a favorite part, it would be when we had to pretend like we were on the playground back in third grade. It was interesting to see people move and act in different ways that you might not get to see on a regular basis. I think it was a good exercise.

  3. Thank you all for being truly brave in your creation of the movement choir and taking time to put down your personal thoughts and feelings in this blog. Also thanks to Professor Paul Solomon for your collaborative spirit and bringing me to direct this wonderful event.

    Working with the DEARTS students and Movement Choir leaders was incredibly positive for me, and the MC performances exceeded my expectations. Like you, I entered the process with many unknowns. I had not directed 150 individuals before; my past participants were volunteers – not students required to take part; and finally, your reaction in the moment of the performance was uncertain.

    I was happy to read that the Movement Choir experience surprised and amazed many of you. The emotions and reactions you expressed in the blog (fun, playfulness, manipulation, curiosity, discomfort, interaction, awe, among many other feelings) were so alive during the performance. This created a strong force and connection between all of you. A group mind was activated as if you all were diving into the unknown but had accepted your fate for this moment in time.

    I think you all know now that what you did is unique because it is what you made together – something ephemeral and unrepeatable – that will live in your memory, senses and muscles.

    It certainly is as fresh in my thoughts one week later, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this with you all. I hope we can do it again soon!

  4. Alyssa Empedrado says:

    I was in the red group and I had so much fun! I was fearful that no one would improvise or play along, but since everyone was doing it, nobody felt like we were being ridiculous ( well at least I thought so). It was so hard to keep quiet because everyone was laughing, and asking questions about what we were supposed to do. I’m also glad we practiced before hand because I would have been super confused! I had fun!

    • Benjamin Davis says:

      I was also in the red group and at first i was like “are you serious?, we have to do what?” although we all went along with the flow and it seemed as we were all normal, Even though we were doing something that looked very unusual. All in all I think most people participated very well, and the project turned out very good. I just think it was an amazing week at class and Kristi was an awesome speaker and you can tell she has a stong passion for her work. Thanks Kristi!!!

    • natalie block says:

      I feel the same way! I was in the red group as well and when they first explained what we were supposed to do, I thought they were crazy. I thought to myself, “are we seriously doing that?” At first I felt out of place, but once everyone started actually runnng around it was fine. It wasn’t like you were the only one making a fool out of yourself. I agree with Ben on how Kristi reall enjoys what she does and it really shows. It ws so nice to be able to get out of class and be able to do something fun like this! I really enjoyed having Kristi!

  5. Ernesto Jimenez says:

    In my opinion, this was an incredible experience for the whole class. At first, when I heard the idea of this movement I thought, this is going to be so boring, but then when we where at the richmond center, it was so much fun. I believe it helped many people loosen up and gain confidence on themselves by doing all those movements that we normally don’t do, and do them in front of the whole class. It caught my attention how the whole class got like into the movement, it was as if we all connected and crated just one single art piece. It was a real nice movement I will never forget, it really touched me and maid me think about things that I had never thought about them. I just want to say it was an incredible experience that the whole class enjoyed and we should take advantage of what we did and learn a lot from it.

  6. Amanda Rodriguez says:

    I was in the white group on our class last thursday. I happaned to miss the previous class so i had no idea what was going on. When they said we would be a movement choir i literally thought oh god i have to move. But it ended up being very interesting and fun. But i feel that it would be so much better if we were abe to do the whole thing outside and someone was able to tape the it. I would appreciate what we did a little more if i actually got to see the effects of what i was contributing to rather than focusing on what was infront of me.

  7. Laura Brakhage says:

    My personal experience with being a part of the movenment choir was a very rewarding experience. Having only your body do the talking is something that I feel that society has abandoned from human communication so to bring that back was a very exciting experience. At first I was a little nervous and extremely silly about running around doing these strange movements around the floor but over time after realizing that I’m not the only one made things more fun and comfortable. At first it was strange to me but in the end I really had a great time. I felt very free and it was nice to remind myself that I can break free from society’s rules.

  8. Lauren Buckley says:

    Reflecting on the class that we had last Thursday in the Richmond Center, I realized that it was something very unique and that I would probably never have the chance to do something even close to that again. When Kristi was explaining to us what a movement choir was I really did not know what to expect. After the event was over on Thursday, I saw what she was trying to explain in a more concrete way. I thought that at first it was a little odd, holding other classmates’ hands and going around in unsual movements and motions, but the energy that ended up coming from everyone in the room was pretty exciting. I thought that Kristi did a great job of introducing us to the term movement choir and actually controlling the group and telling us what she hoped to see. It was really special to see how she reacted to the end of the performance. I was glad to see that it ended up being somethng really fantastic and momentous for her.

  9. Brad Kenrick says:

    I was a very nervous at first and didn’t know what to expect about what we were goin to do. The youtube videos gave me idea but I was not totally sure. As we began to reheres I felt alot better and actually started having fun I was on the black team and we had some werid dance moves we went from a zombie to a special agent. I feel this was a great experience a brought are class closer together

  10. Nicole Bair says:

    The day before we actually ‘performed’, I was worried. Not necessarily that I’d fall on my face, but that what we were about to do would be pointless. And I’ll honestly say that I don’t think I got what I was supposed to out of it, but it defiantly wasn’t pointless. I saw it from a different perspective when I was doing it then when I was watching it. I understood what Miss Kristi was talking about, how people moved with each other, and how it WAS a chorus of movement just by doing every day things. Well at least that’s what I understood. So thank you Miss Kristi for traveling all this way for us!

  11. Katelyn Graal says:

    The only part I enjoyed of the activity was that we were not in the class room, I found it out of my comfort zone, I did not enjoy doing all the movements and trying to be different. I felt that a lot of people enjoyed the experience it was just not for me. Watching people doing stuff out of the norm is interesting to me just not something I would like to do, like the Grand Central Station video I found to be really cool when everyone just stopped what they were doing and just froze.

  12. shelby plichota says:

    I enjoyed our guest speaker Kristi, i thought that she raised an interesting point when she said that our society is so dependent on technology. I had to agree with her that this causes us to limit interactions with one another. Now days it is more uncommon to see someone having an actual face to face conversation whit someone while walking. People are usually on there phone, or have their ipod in.

    I also like the movement choir that we had done. i had no idea what a movement choir even was before this class, i was also surprised how enthusiastic everyone was about it.

  13. AJ Roberts says:

    I have a class in the Richmond Center that ends at 3:15 on wednesdays, so I was able to see the MW class do the movement choir. It gave me an idea of what to expect on thursday and I didn’t really know what to think. To be honest, there were quite a few people who looked less than thrilled to be there, so I was a bit discouraged going into it. On the other hand, I was really willing to give it all a shot because the the whole concept was very cool to me. Listening to someone like Kristi speak so passionately about the ideas and meanings behind movement choirs was pretty inspiring. I’m relatively shy when it comes to doing stuff like that soo needless to say I had mixed feelings.

    I ended up really enjoying it. It was a little toasty running around all over the place, but otherwise quite fun 🙂 I actually found myself really getting into it when we encountered the unsuspecting public. It made it that much more entertaining for me to see reactions of people outside of the groups. What’s best was that everyone really seemed to enjoy watching it. I saw people recording it and loved the fact that we were able to entertain, or at least confuse people with it.

    I really thought the class did well as a whole. One of my most memorable moments was in the beginning of the actual performance when we were all “parked” in position in the parking lot. In the rehearsal and some of the performance there was chatting back and forth between people. But, when we all froze in our positions in the parking lot for the real performance, there was total and complete silence. That was really cool to me. That all 130 of us (or however many are in the class) were able to come together and simultaneously focus on achieving the same goal, and actually achieving it. I thought that was great to have everyone working together like that!

  14. Sara Olivares says:

    When I was told we were to partake in this movement choir I wasn’t necessarily excited. I checked it out on youtube, and just felt like it was an unconquerable fete. I figured most people wouldn’t really be into it, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to really be into it. Even with doing the wave in class to prepare us for the “routine” I felt pretty bleak with it all. However, at the end of the wave class, Kristi talked about the importance of us allowing ourselves to just let go and how really in a way, we owed it to ourselves. I think she really offered all of the components needed for students to put insecurities and judgments aside.
    When participating in the movement choir, I felt somewhat uncomfortable at first. I was in the group assigned flying. So many people apparently have no knowledge ingrained anywhere of flying! They walked up the stairs, arms crossed, lips puckered. I kept saying “Come on, come on fly!” and I was given crude looks. I got over this however and when we had to do the circle type of march/dance, I noticed someone next to me just dancing away and I decided to join him, make him twirl me, and just have fun. By the end, I just felt so relieved and nearly healed. I felt such a release just letting my body move on its own and with others. When we ended clapping, I felt my hand shaking from all of the energy conjured from dancing and I was just really moved by the Spenner’s passion and the ability for others to just give into the present. I think we should all walk away (dance away) with appreciation for people unconventional like Spenner. She is doing something truly heart-felt and people may have barriers but they are worth exceeding because exercises like this are what we need in mistakenly monotonous lives.

  15. Luke Coogan says:

    I thought that Kristi did a great job with us too. It would defiantly not be easy to get such a large group organized and on the same page. I was thinking about how much creativity it took them to come up with ideas for us to act out.
    And i loved the videos of the movement choirs from youtube, they were awesome… :). I’ve watched the train station one about five times since class.

  16. Laura Nomura says:

    I thought that the movement choir was very interesting. When we walked from the classroom to the Richmond Center all linked together, I often looked back and saw the line of students and it was kind of cool to see. When we got to the Richmond Center, I had no idea what to expect. I think just about everyone wore the color they were suppose to wear. When we all separated, the groups looked very together. It was cool how when the groups came back together, all of the colors were combined together. I was in the black shirt group. We had to “fly” to walkway upstairs. We then had to do the robot and walk to our left. When our leaders gave a signal, we had to stop doing the robot, hold hands and do this type of wave-like movement. When they made a signal for the second time we had to jump up and down like we were trying to get someone’s attention. It was a fun and silly experience. I have never some anything like it. At first, I felt a little awkward, but after a while I realized that everyone was in that same position and it was okay to open up a little. Over all the movement choir was fun and it was nice to get out of the classroom and move around.

  17. Kameron Kampen says:

    This dance like activity challenged the type of activity that most of us would regularly partake in, and forced us to act and think outside of the box, while not being self conscious or concerned with how ridiculous we may look or the nature of the activities we were performing. I’m not someone who would usually do something of this nature but i thought the activity was alot of fun and was a way to express art in a completely different perspective and manner. Along with that, i feel that performing the “freezing” act that we watched in class could have been another beneficiary to this activity and would of added another fun dimension to class that day.

  18. Shanna Thorn says:

    I am going to be completely honest about our movement choir, as I was not really into it. I felt bad because I could see how much this meant to Kristi, so I gave a little bit of an attempt. However, it was really really neat to see other students get really involved and I could see that they were enjoying themselves. I enjoyed the way we all got split up by our shirt colors too, then all merged together at the end. I also liked how the movements that we were taught while we were split up by colors were simple. The students who helped teach us the movements were very helpful, and I could tell they knew what they were doing. I did feel like we were a bit rushed though. Probably my favorite part of the whole thing was at the end, when everyone attached to the structure and also to the people around them. it was really neat seeing the creative ways people were doing so. Overall though, I was happy we got to get out of class and do something different, even though I wasn’t really into it.

  19. Taylor Xanders says:

    I had a much better time than I had expected. It was funny to see so many teenagers dance around, when you would think none of them would be caught dead doing so. The power of 50 points, I guess. 🙂

    If your like me, it’s difficult to appreciate the art in the movement that we displayed on wednsday. Even with that in mind I had a really good time, because what we were doing was just so ridiculous and fun.

  20. Jessica Gripentrog says:

    I thought Thursdays class was very interesting. Not something I would usually take part in. I had to come out of my shell a little to participate in all the activities, but I think it helped me out a lot. It helped show me that I am a little more shy then some other people. It showed me that I didn’t need to be embarrassed though because everyone else was doing the same thing. It was nice to get out of the classroom and experience something new and different. It helped me meet more people in our class. I was in the Red Group so it was a little weird to see the black and white groups staring at you. It also seemed like you had to trust the class, because everyone had to touch each other and be so close.
    I really liked meeting Kristi Spessard. She was very inspiring. She made us feel more comfortable and made the class more fun. We should do more stuff like the movement choir more often.

  21. Chantal Marie Perez says:

    movement choire, I love it!!, it wasn’t common, i had never do something like that before and I liked a lot how we express ourself with our body and the feeling of letting our body free, It was nice how the whole classroom got into it!! I mean like we all together lost the shame and did what we had to do, I think we had a lot of fun. The music in the back, the theme of each group, the movements of transition make the conection with the space really nice.
    My favorite part was when we hat to touch each other and the space at the same time. This movement choir remembers me the everyday mindfulness that we should have, being always in contact with ourself and the space.

  22. Melissa McChesney says:

    i really enjoyed the movement choir, it really brought out a side of me i haven’t tapped into in a long time, some may say the “inner child.” I have been going trough a lot outside of school, and it felt good for even a few hours to be able to let go of all the pressures of the real world and just be different. It was also really fun meeting so many new people, i mean when i am holding some random guys hand, i am going to at least introduce myself. Overall the movement choir was amazing, it was a nice fun break from real life. Thank you so much Kristi

  23. Katharine Elder says:

    Previous to class last Tuesday, I had never in my entire life heard of a movement choir. I had no idea what to expect going to class on Thursday. Kristi Spessard did a wonderful job explaining the concept of a movement choir. I really enjoyed her presentation. At first, it was a bit awkward holding hands and linking to complete strangers. After a few minutes, I just let myself have fun and the awkwardness went away. The movement choir allowed for us as a class to get to know one another even though it was suppose to a silent activity.
    As to the technology issue that Kristi brought up, I have to agree that it has hurt our means of communication. We can have entire conversations with other individuals without ever seeing them or hearing their voices. The movement choir was a fun activity and was really nice opportunity to get out of the classroom and move around for a while. It was also pleasant to have put aside technology for a few hours. I would recommend doing the movement choir every year! It was one of the most interesting activities that I have ever participated in and is also a once in a life time experience.

  24. Michelle Morse says:

    I thought the movement choir was really fun. I really didn’t know what to expect that day in class. It was interesting being split into different groups with different colors. My part in the movement chior is funny and will be entertaining for people to watch on wednesdays class. I am really excited to see peoples reactions to our movement choir! I really don’t understand what a movement choirs purpose is but it is very unique and different. I’ve never seen a movement choir or heard of it before becoming a part of this one. It is exciting because of the attention it draws. It is very strange but I think that is what keeps it interesting and keeps the audience guessing. My favorite part is the group wave. My least favorite part is being infront of the camera. I am not a shy person but I became very uncomfortable when the camera was near me. I am looking forward to this wednesday and I hope it turns out really well.

  25. Steven Betten says:

    Going into the movement choir, I was not very excited about it. But then the things we did were very funny. For example, playing like it was a playground. Or ‘shooting’ each other. I thought it would be more arsty, but it wasn’t. And that made it very fun. I thought Kristi was very into it and that was great to see. Overall it was a good time and a great change of pace from the regular classroom.

    • Jessica Gripentrog says:

      I definitely agree with Steven. I wasn’t very excited going into the movement choir. It was reassuring to see the group leaders so into it, it helped me feel better and get more into it. The red group had to act like we were in prison, that was really fun. We got to start fights, play basketball, and could lift weights. It was really cool to see some people not in our class stop and watch our performance. Kristi was a great influence on all of us, she made the movement choir be lots of fun.

  26. Timothy Carey says:

    I thought that this was a fun experience. It was great to have the opportunity to participate in this and Kristi did a great job showing us how fun it is to encounter art. I have never had an experience like this and it was unforgettable. I was kind of embarrassed at first, but after a while I got used to it and ended up having a great time. Also the leaders showed a lot of emotion and it really got me motivated to get involved. I had a blast and it was memorable.

  27. Katie Krafft says:

    I really enjoyed the movement choir. It was not anything that I would have expected. It was different and definetly a learning experience. I would not mind doing something like that again. I loved the reactions that we got from the people standing on the sidelines watching. They were just standing in awe just wondering what the heck we were doing, it was pretty funny.

  28. Jon Giove says:

    I thought the movement choir was very entertaining and had a blast participating in it. It was cool to see so many people coming together to do the same thing, even dressing up in their colors. Looking back now I think I would have let myself enjoy it a little more, there was a few parts where I was holding back. My favorite part of the choir was when we linked up and walked across campus, just seeing the looks on the students faces walking by was great. I think its awesome what Kristi does and hopefully if this comes back to western ill be able to be on the other side watching it.

  29. Damond Smith says:

    I very much liked tuesdays class. Our guest speaker, Miss Kristi was very enthusiastic and passionate about her job. I was kind of shy and embarrassed doing the wave in class and all but,I learned that being shy doesnt do anything but draw more attention to yourself. I am very happy tha we got a chance to make Kristi happy and I hope all goes well with her movement of The Movement Choir down the line.

  30. Immanuel Singh says:

    I think the movement choir was very interesting and pretty cool. It was pretty interesting interacting with other classmates. When we were performing it showed me that most of us were unique in our own ways and we had the freedom to move however we felt like moving. It was pretty cool to see some people open up and letting go and just having fun. It also showed us that as a human being we can interact with people on cell phones, but there won’t be any emotions and energy there. And with the cell phone thing I truly think it is creating communication and social gaps. Since many feel they are able to express themselves better through wireless conversation compared to face-to-face interaction, it is possible that they will become heavily dependent on a cell phone as a mean of communication. A cell phone can be served as a medium which people use to escape direct social interaction. Instead of talking to people around them, many choose to talk with people that they already know on the phone.

  31. Maria Tannah says:

    For me personally, this class was the most interesting so far. I enjoyed the chance to get out of the classroom and moving around learning in a new way. It was nice to see some people get really into the activity and take it quite seriously. Another part I really liked was that it got us involved with others in the class that we didn’t know, so it allowed to meet more students in the class. This was a different experience but overall I am glad we got the chance to do it.

    On another note, I have a lot of friends that go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and they are doing something exactly like this on the hill in front of Bascom Hall on campus in Madison. There is a facebook group about it where they compare it to the Grand Central Station freeze and another similar freeze that happened at the University of Minnesota. I found this interesting that other school are learning about the same things.

  32. Erin Burklow says:

    I think that the movement choir was interesting, to say the least. I think it really tested how willing we were to commit to the exercises given to us and it was fun to see how different people reacted in the specific situations. I also think that it was a good alternative to the normal class. Instead of sitting in the lecture hall just taking notes and being lectured, we actually got to get out of the classroom and do something different. I think that it might have been a better overall experience for me if I was more open to the idea of the movement choir, so I now know what I would do differently.

  33. Amelia Martin says:

    Reading all these comments, I agree with alot of people about getting in touch with the “inner child,” and that we need to be more in tune with each other as humans instead of communicating through phones and technology. (A teacher once told me that he noticed at universities that almost every student he used to pass was smoking a cigarette, but now all he sees are students on their phones. Technology is our newest addiction.)
    However, I don’t understand how some people thought that everyone was in the moment. I was surrounded by people talking, especially when we were all lined up – these douchebags were walking behind me talking about how this was the perfect excuse to grab random girls’ asses, etc. Honestly, it ruined the whole thing for me, because it wasn’t about the art we were creating at all for them, and the negativity rubbed off on me. Its a shame that these tools couldn’t be real and a part of the experience with us, because their vibe brought other people down.

  34. Abdulazeez Gobir says:

    I thought what we we are going to do is going to be very similar to what we watched on youtube. I was expecting something better than what we did. But I still loved it, it was enetertaining, its exhausting too. I wish we could be doing this every week.

  35. Tyree Grasty says:

    I think by so far this was the best day of class because instead of sitting down and taking notes for almost two hours, we were all moving around and having fun. What we did in class today brought us closer together because we were interacting with each other when we were all performing. The only problem with the class that day was that is was so hot. I think that the class should do more interactive things like this day.

    • Kalyn Skupin says:

      I completely agree with you. I loved actually gettong up and moving around for a change. It gets old really fast having to sit for two hours straight taking notes. I tend to learn and better understand things when I am hands on and interacting with people. I was worried at first that the majority of our class would laugh off this activity and not really put effort into it. When we first got to the Richmond center thats what seemed to happen. Fortunately, after people started relaxing a little, the activity became ten times more interesting. I was part of the white group, so my role was mainly up in the student study lounge looking down on the red group. It was funny because I think we were the only group to actually be involved with people outside our class. We sat at the tables of people studying and had to feeze in motion. Some of the looks we got were halarious. Part of me wishes that i was part of the res group however. they seemed to be doing some really active fun things down below, from looked like playing in a park, to a game of tag (involving guns) haha. I agree it was very hot and uncomfprtable being that close to people at the end of this exercise, but i would love to do something like this again soon!

  36. Patrick Ofiara says:

    Well, I can honestly say that I have never done anything closely related to the movement choir before in my life. My first impression of it was that it was going to be no fun at all and we’re going to be like a bunch of guinea pigs being told what to do. In actuality, it wasn’t all that bad once things got kicked off and we learned what to do without having the instructor announce to us what to do and when to do it. Overall it was a positive experience and I feel that future classes would also enjoy doing a movement choir as one of their performance grades.

  37. Amanda Oswald says:

    Where to begin?! I have never in my life heard of a movement choir so I had no idea what to expect. In all honesty, I thought we would have to go up to each other and look/touch one another like we’ve never seen another human before in our lives. Or inspect and touch the walls and objects in the room like it’s the most interesting thing on the planet. THAT would have been weird! The movement choir was absolutely fun. Someone afterwards said that as adults we’re taught not to use our bodies like that and that couldn’t be any more true. EVERYONE, not just those of us who had the opportunity to participate in a movement choir, should have fun with their bodies and use them in creative new ways. I don’t know if anyone else felt this way, but once class was over I felt refreshed for the rest of the day. And any day that involves anything zombie is a good day 😉

  38. Janelle says:

    My personal experience during the movement choir was totally indescribable. We participated in movements that not only moved our bodies but our imagination. I was able to completely surrender myself to the exercise. To me that was the hardest part about participating, was to let go and put my all of myself into what was going on around me. I believe that when we are young we have a certain comfort zone and as we get older we become aware of rules and what is exceptable and what is not. Being able to participate in something that is totally out of the ordinary and watching everyone participate and give themselves was truly amazing. It was an experience that was truly one in a life time and one that I will never forget.

  39. Eileen Keaty says:

    I thought class on thursday was very interesting. I was excited to go to it since it was something different than just sitting in the classroom the whole time. It was interesting seeing everyone out of their element and acting out all of these things. I was in the black group so we had to act like zombies, 007 agents, and creep on the red group below. Overall i though the experience was a success and wouldn’t mind doing it again.

  40. Ryeasha Hester says:

    I didn’t expect what happened to happen. But the connection made during our participation in the movement choir was “moving.”
    There’s something about 50 plus people throwing out all inhibitions and moving freely as one unit. As crazy as it sounds, I felt a oneness with everyone there and it was really special. I mean really, when are you going to be able to walk like a zombie, crawl up some stairs like ants and then act like 007 agents, with classmates ever again?? I got to release that inner child and it was actually very enjoyable. I, also, know that what happened that day was ephemeral, and would never occur again and it was cool to ba apart of that. What Kristi said during class dicussions showed me that she was passionate about this and that only made me more excited to be apart of what was to come. She also made a very valid point about technology depleting human interaction. Evert home has a computer and children as young as 10 have cell phones now. Nothing can substitute the human touch. I learned that through the movement choir. At first I hought it would be awkward to hold hands with a stranger, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one but it amazed me how quickly those reservations were gone. I had such a good time during my time participating in the movement choir. It was enlightening in more than one way. I’d love to do it again!

    • Chelsea Staples says:

      I love your comment about our “inner child” being released. We are so uptight and awkward as adults, children don’t give two shits about looking wacky or acting silly. So, I think any experience that forces us to step out of our comfort zones and let all inhibitions go out the window can only be a positive one. It challenged us to think out of the box about movement and our connection with others and our environment. Kristi’s excitement and genuine enthusiasm for the subject only added to the experience, she is one zen lady. She reminds me of my yoga instructor. All in all, it was positive and enlightening adventure, something that definitely adds to my repertoire of encounters with the arts.

  41. Kaitlyn Kiessling says:

    Before class on Tuesday, I had never heard of a movement choir before. I think Kristi made everyone stop and think for a second about how our generation has lost a lot of face-to-face interaction. At first, I was reluctant to participate mainly because it was new and uncomfortable. But I realized that trying something new for two hours wasn’t going to kill me, so I decided to join in. And honestly I was surprised to see how everyone was letting go and giving it a try as well. I discovered that movement choir was not as awkward as I imagined. It was a unique experience to say the least.

  42. Lindsay Follett says:

    I thought that the movement chior was interesting, and I was suprised to see how much everyone participated in it. I did not really like the whole movement chior experience, but it was interesting to see how everyone interacted with each other and how different people interpreted their role in the movement choir.

  43. Angel Allen says:

    I honestly did not enjoy my time with the movement choir.Im not trying to down play anyone eles experience but mine was not one i would like to repeat any time soon. I totaly understand the movement choir but, I would not consider myself as the type of person would likes to interact with 140 people that i hardly even know. When watching the footage from some of the other movement choirs I thought it look cool and i truly enjoyed watching it. I just did not want to be apart of it.

  44. kay tarleton says:

    I LOVED this! I have to admit, even as a dancer, I thought it was alittle “different” when I first leadered exactly what a movement choir was in class. I had seen them before on tv but never had a name for them. I had mostly been worried that people in class wouldn’t go along with it. During our small group time for the dance leaders, it was so interesting to get to bounce ideas off over everybody and to do a kind of dance that I have never done before. We had the downstairs structure and it was interesting trying to work with a space and tell a story about it.
    The rehersal went so so, especially walking over. Alot of people were talking and expressing how weird they felt and some I noticed weren’t really trying but others were doing great. Some of the places they grabbed I hadn’t even thought of! At first, like Kristi had said they might, I think people just had to get used to breaking the rules, doing things that “normal” adults in “normal” society don’t do. How many adults get to pretend to drive cars, get to grab hold of each other, get to pretend to be spies or start fights or sit in a fish bowl? Self concious people have to break out and all that “i’m too cool for this” had to go.
    During the actual preformance, people I hadn’t noticed doing much before, suddenly stepped up to the plate and got really into it. That made me feel great to know that they had just found alittle crazy inside of themselves and decided to let it out.
    The most annoying thing was the people that refused to work with it. People who just kinda dragged their feet or sat there, looking bored and self concious or like a 9th grader saying “i’m totally too cool for this.” The last group mentioned I kinda wanted to kick. This activity was all about people like that and a society like that and breaking out of those norms and square feelings and it’s sad that you were too “cool” to be a part of the crazy circle.
    I hope that we get to watch the video, I’d like to see the other dances involved. I loved the project and felt a real connection with the class I haven’t gotten to before. : )

    • Kat Bard says:

      I can understand your frustration as a leader but at the same time there a lot of people who have never been exposed to this kind of dance before and to force them into something that is completely out of their element and expect them to jump for joy and have no reservation about it is completely ridiculous. I think that it was a step for a lot of people to even come to class and let themselves be surrounded by this activity and it’s enough to give them some credit for. Overall I think of lot of people really enjoyed it and took something away from it, even the ones who weren’t krumping, running, etc. I think you should still give them credit and not want to kick them.

      • kay tarleton says:

        I do give them credit, I’m glad they tried it. I’ve never done this kinda thing either; I do Middle Eastern dance, linking arms and jumping jacks isn’t part of that either. I just don’t allow myself to get embarrassed by anything. And I’m not saying I want people to “jump for joy,” I just want people to stop thinking they’re “too cool” to try it. Society teaches us to be reserved and self-concious and yes being in this class is a step but you aren’t getting anything out of this class if you over-judge it and don’t try to participate. “Just doing it” – the people that drag their feet, talked about how dumb it was, sat, did the least possible – isn’t enough. Yes they were doing the minimum but 50 pts is behind this. This is WAY better than normal class where you sit and take notes and for the small number of people who wouldn’t give it a chance and try to actually enjoy themselves, those are the ones I wanna kick. I understand not everyone is used to or comfortable with just acting crazy and that it takes alittle to break outta the shell. Like I said in my post, it really made me happy and proud when people who were rather reserved in the trial run, broke out and did things in the 2nd run through. That was such a great thing to be able to watch, people letting go of societal chains and look like they were able to breathe for the first time. I want to kick those who didn’t try because I want to wake them up and make them see that they are missing out on something that could be good for them and that could make them feel amazing if they’d only give it a chance.

        • stephanee Woodward says:

          I have to go with Kat on this one, to go as far as to want to “kick the ppl” who YOU felt didn’t participate is dumb at all levels. I am one of those ppl who don’t always feel like putting myself out there with new things. I did however like this activity and felt I participated at a level that made me comfortable, I may not have went in the center and flailed around with my shirt half up like you but I sure as hell did what was asked of me. Don’t get me wrong i think it is great that you are comfortable with doing spontaneous things without the worry of what ppl think, I just don’t think you have any right to judge those who don’t have the same view as you. So as far as you wanting to kick ppl like me Id kick you right back for even saying that. I never saw not one person sitting and felt like I heard all positive remarks from the activity. I mean Kristi even said herself she felt our class did the best and got the most out of it.

          I would like to thank Kristi for showing us this fun and out of the norm art form. It opened my eyes to yet another art form that I may never had considered art.

  45. Chantea Jones-Martin says:

    I thought this exercise was really fun and different all at the same time. It was a great way to get out of class, and do something we’ve never done together as a class. What was funny was that while we were doing the exercise, other people that weren’t doing the exercise, stared and wondered exactly what we were doing and what we were doing it for. I would definitely love to do this again!

    • Heather Ring says:

      I for sure agree with you! I loved the movement choir! I was very nervous when I first came to class because I thought it was going to be real dancing and I’m not good at that. I thought a lot of the class really participated and took it seriously and the people that didn’t really stood out just like Kristi Spressard said.

      I was in the white group and I really enjoyed the movements that we did. My favorite movement was when we were on the glass balcony doing mannequin poses I bet it looked so cool from down below because we all moved and we all froze at the same time. I would for sure do it again! I think it opened up our class and made us closer and more open. I feel like a lot more people will be open and inviting to talk to and mingle with the other people in the class. Kristi Spessard is really amazing and I am glad that I have had this chance to work with her!

  46. Sarah Dryden says:

    When I first heard about the movement choir, I thought it was a little ridiculous. Experiencing it though changed my mind completely. It was an awesome experience. I would love to do it again. I think it would be sweet if western started its own movement choir. It was a great way to meet new people in the class and interact with them not in a classroom setting.

  47. Alex Fabian says:

    When I first arrived to class today, I’m not going to lie I was a little nervous and scared for what we were going to do. We were told nothing, so a lot of things were going through my head as to what things we would do. Overall, I though this project was really neat and fun. I loved being able to interact with my classmates and just being out of the class room. It was also pretty cool how almost everyone participated with wearing the appropriate color shirts, it really made it look cool. I would have never though that I’d be doing something like that in a college class. It was defiantly and fun change.

    I liked how we linked up to walk to the Richmond Center, even though it was a little strange, I loved seeing peoples reaction who were outside the class. I know that if i saw that happened I would be thinking like what are they doing?
    Overall I thought it was a fun class and it was very unique, I’m glad I had the chance to participate.

    • kay tarleton says:

      I’m so glad that you had a great time! I love reading the comments that say that they were nervous or hesitant about it only to discover how great/fun it was. And you are so right, doing this kinda thing is college didn’t cross my mind. Yey DEARTS!

    • Susan Elllis says:

      I totally felt nervous too because I am really shy around large groups of people I barely know. I am one of those people that doesn’t dance, unless dragged to the dance floor. I seriously debated skipping class, but knew I’d regret it if I did. That being said, I’m really glad I went because it was awesome to see everyone interacting. I was very curious about what kinds of things go on in a movement choir, and now I know. There were points where I had no clue what to do, but I know a lot of other people didn’t either so that made me feel better. Probably my favorite part was where everyone was holding hands and circling the wooden structure near the end. It looked awesome with the different color groups, and kind of gave off a peace on earth type vibe.
      I have also watched a few more videos on youtube of improv everywhere after seeing a few of their works in class and I really enjoy them. I’ve been telling everybody I can think of to check them out too.

  48. Susan Nitchman says:

    First off, I would like to thank Kristi for coming to WMU, and giving us DEarts students the opportunity to participate in such a unique, and adventurous event. When coming to class I was hesitant to even wear my own color because I would be separated from my group of friends in the class, and I had no idea what the adventure was that I was going to be embarking on. I felt nervous, and unsure as to what we were going to be doing, I had heard things like “its quite touchy-feely” or “your going to be doing uncomfortable things with people you do not know” and that made me feel pretty nervous. When we lined up and walked over to the Richmond center I had a blast! I was towards the end of the line, and to be able to observe the various colors, and the touching of strangers was quite amazing. It was as if all differences were able to be put aside and we could come together in unity as a unique group of 150 students each contributing our own piece to the giant puzzle. When in the Richmond center I thought that there was going to be no way all 150 of us students were going to fit in the tiny space, but we made it work, and it was a pretty awesome sea of red, black, and white. I was a member of the black “team” and I participated in the activities that occurred above the main level, and I could observe the activities of those below. It was pretty cool to see be a participant and observer in the whole piece. I enjoyed the ending when my group “flew” in, and then when we did the gigantic wave was quite a site. I liked the different noises that were made by the various types of clapping, it added life, energy, and rhythm to what could have been a lifeless room. Overall, I had a mind changing experience, and I enjoyed Kristi art movement!! I would love to participate in another one if I had the choice to!

  49. Amanda Keller says:

    Todays class was quite difficult for me because I tend to be a pretty shy kid in class. At first I felt like Chester the Molester because I’m not use to touching people I don’t know. It was nice to see that everyone was participating becuase I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who would have liked to consume a few adult beverages before class to ease my nerves but with everyone getting into the movement and participating it made me feel a little less like running for the door. So even though at first I was uncomfortable, I did enjoy it and I think that its important to connect with humans not words that a human typed or a voice coming out of a box.

    • Amber Sharnowski says:

      I thought this experience was straight up awkward. Touching people I’ve never even spoken too was not something I enjoyed doing. However, I do agree that it eased my level of discomfort knowing that everyone else was participating as well.

      Some of the things we did were strange. But, it created a humerous atmosphere. I feel like it’d be more of an enjoyment to be an outsider watching the movement choir then to participate in one. I have really mixed feelings about the class, but it was a relief to get up and move around rather than sitting in class for 2 hours.

  50. Shannon Lehew says:

    First of all I’d like to thank Kristi for coming to WMU and working with our class! What an amazing experience! I felt as if we were in our own play having others watch us. I loved the reaction that we got from people watching us.
    As of today I wasn’t sure what we would be doing because the videos we watched were different in that the performances were different. So although I had an idea I didn’t know what to expect. What a blast! I loved the MC and had so much fun. It was like I was a kid again playing make believe.
    I would LOVE to do this again but in a busy place like a bus or train station. I love the reaction of others!

    Thanks again Kristi! (and Prof. Solomon for inviting her!)

  51. Andrea Terenzi says:

    I really enjoyed todays class. I was not exactly sure what to expect. I have never heard of a movement choir until Kristi came into our class on Tuesday. After class on Tuesday I researched what a movement choir was all about. I still didn’t fully understand it. It wasn’t until today when I actually participated in the movement choir did I realize what it was all about. It was interesting to see how everyone’s actions were different from each others. I really liked how we were able to step outside the box and use our imaginations. In my group (white) we were told to act like we were swimming, pose like manikins, and show the shapes that you see around you with your body. When we were acting like we were swimming it started out with the normal breaststroke, doggie paddle, and backstroke. After a minute or so my group members were using their imaginations and what started out as a backstroke turned into animals that live in the water. Some were acting like fish, others were sharks and ells. We were playing monkey see monkey do. When one group member came up with a new move and soon enough everyone else was doing it too! Lastly, with the manikin poses it was funny to see how everyone’s pose was always different from the person next to them. People were doing poses that was obvious manikins couldn’t do because they don’t bend like our bodies do, but that was the fun of it! It was all about using our imaginations and trying to come up with a move or pose that the person next to you didn’t do or have. I really enjoyed working with Kristi these past two days. She’s a wonderful person and you can tell she is passionate about what she does. I really think that you should have her back next year. This really was a once in a lifetime experience and I am really glad I got to be apart of it.

  52. Shannon Nash says:

    For me the idea of a movement choir was one that I had never heard or thought of before. While I think that it was an interesting thing to experience, I think that some movement choirs are more interesting than others. For example the one that we watched on youtube where people froze in place in Grand Central Station. I thought this form of a movement choir was much more interesting and even more of a spectacle than the one we did in class…and they didn’t even have to move! It was their lack of movement that was so eye-catching to the people watching. Overall I think the movement choir was a good experience, it never hurts to try something new.

  53. Linda Umlor says:

    I loved how the movement choir made us all so vulnerable. Not one person knew what to expect, how they were going to act, and how others would look at them if they acted on impulse, (as we were expected to do). Kristi subtly demanded us to act as we would with our most intimate friends, but instead of friends, it was with strangers.
    The movement choir was exactly as it sounded to me when I first heard of it: bodies and actions flowing together in rhythm. We were exactly that…Thank You to all who made this possible today!

  54. Kelli Hayman says:

    Working with Kristi Spessard was a great experience. I was one of the leaders for the red group and it amazed me to see people break out of their comfort zones to go along with the activities. It was very cool meeting new people and having others follow along with what the other leaders and I were doing.

    The movements and the different themes the different groups acted out were very creative. I really like the shapes people made with their bodies when we were to connect with one another at the end. It was very artistic. I enjoyed the whole experience. I would love to do it again.

  55. Amanda Folkert says:

    Today during the movement choir, I was surprised to see how much I opened up. I was expecting everyone to just shy off and it to be really boring or make me feel like a child. Instead I had some of the most fun I have had in a long time. I am a very outgoing and loud person around people I know very well, but in groups like today I am normally so quiet and shy. The Movement made me really feel involved in a part of something amazing. I loved the feel of just letting go and not worrying about what others around me thought. This class was by far my favorite of DEARTS.

  56. Heidi Heystek says:

    Like most, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been in church and mass choirs, but never one on movement. I will have to say that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The inner child came out to play for a moment.
    I didn’t make the connection until I got home but the experience brought me back 6-8 years ago to a time when I was a youth leader for my teenagers’ drama team. Four out of my six “kids” were a part of it. They had the opportunity to perform skits and “human videos” at churches,high schools, public events, regional and national competitions, as well as the juvenile home. It was a time period that I would not have missed for anything. (So Miss Kristi, I totally understand your “moment” there at the end of the performance.)

  57. Tamara Spradlin says:

    Today when we participated in the movement choir, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was very fun. When we had to switch our movements I didn’t know what I was going t do next but it came naturally. I thought it was going to be uncomfortable because we were performing in front of the class but it wasn’t uncomfortable at all.
    Thank you to Kristi

  58. Phil Robtoy says:

    I was very interested in the past two classes on movement choirs. At first I had never witnessed a movement choir, let alone even knew what it was. After the past two classes with Kristi she made me understand the point of movement choirs. Now I have no interest in ever being in one, but I can understand people doing them just for a performance. I liked watching the different types of choirs that were shown on youtube. I don’t think movement choirs hurt anyone and if I witnessed one in real life I would probably find them just entertaining. I thought the video on a lot of people dancing to the do-re-mi song was pretty funny.

    Wednsday’s class was pretty interesting. I was expecting the worst because I am no dancer but the choir was actually fun in a way and it didn’t involve too much dancing. I kind of wished I could have watched the choir instead of been in it just to see how cool it looked with everyone in red, white, and black doing different things.

  59. Lukas Ayers says:

    The movement choir today was definitely a new experience for me. I had never even heard of a movement choir before Kristi Spessard came to our class. At first it was real awkward. But, as everyone got more into it everything became so much more fun. We weren’t the only ones enjoying it either. There were so many people above us walking by and they all stopped and looked for at least a second. The only thing I didn’t like was how none of the groups knew what other groups’ “stories” were. But, I liked how my group (the reds) story all flowed together; chain-gang, prison, and finally freedom! It was a powerful idea.

    • Kat Bard says:

      I really liked the idea of the red group too, it was kind of crazy because as soon as we were free it’s like we didn’t know what to do with it. I thought it had powerful undertones for sure.

  60. Dan O'Hare says:

    This was definitely a new thing for me, because it did open my eyes to how much we have lost with the technology today. I know I’m guilty with it to, with emailing, texting and spending a lot of time on the computer. The movement choir performance we did today opened my eyes to the days where we used our imagination to do such spectacular things. Perhaps if we added a bit more movement to our everyday life, things will turn out better for all of us.

  61. Annie Badeusz says:

    I thought the movement choir was very interesting. I haven’t done anything like that before. I think that it brought many people out of their comfort zone and helped people bond in a different way. It was a great opportunity to do something new and unique. Kristi is very creative and seemed really passionate about this kind of art, it was nice of her to share it with our class.

    • Shelby Rubel says:

      I actually enjoyed the movement choir thing we did. I didn’t think the majority of our class took it totally seriously, but at the very end I was surprised to see the people watching from above taking pictures. I didnt realize how cool it might of looked.

      • Jeremy Inklebarger says:

        I was surprised also by how much of a spectacle we were being, I mean during the performance we were passing people that were just sitting there and video taping us all. It made me feel like I was part of something much bigger than I realized.

  62. Ben Wells says:

    At first I was really put off on the idea because it’s the kind of thing that’s really far out of my comfort zone. “Movement choir? I can barely do the robot! Holding hands with strangers around campus!? …no thanks.” But it actually proved to be fun. I really got into it when I started to ignore those who were trying to look cool and, ironically, they ended up looking like the fools.

    Another thing that worried me was that we weren’t nearly as trained as the people singing in the train station and grocery store, but I guess the whole point wasnt about individual training per se, but rather an overwhelmingly visual group mentality and expression.

    I really started having fun when I saw the bystanders’ reactions. One even asked(white group) what we were doing and I just cracked one with “these sort of things just seem to happen if you spend enough time on campus” lol

    Can’t wait until the final day.

    • Shannon Lehew says:

      I completely agree with you! I also thought it was funny to watch the “cool” react to the directions. It was as if they were “to cool” to participate.
      This was also out of my comfort zone to a point because I usually am worried what others think, but today I acted as if I was the only one around.

  63. Katie MacDonald says:

    This was a pretty cool expirience, I don’t know that I will have the opportunity to participate in something like this again and that made it extra special. I was glad to see how many people in our class got really “into it” participating by wearing the appropriate colors, following directions, and putting effort and character into the tasks. I also became a lot closer with people in the class- I was holding hands and tangled up with people that I’ve never met! The only thing that I feel could have been improved were the directions of what each group had to do when seperated. I was in the black group and because I could hardly hear our leaders it was fairly chioatic when trying to do our movement upstairs as a group. Hopefully we get to do more fun things like this in the future!

  64. Lidia Lopez says:

    The movement choir was amazing. It helped me kind of step out of my comfort zone and into a zone where there were no right or wronge. I felt I had the freedom to feel my inner person without feeling stupid. At first I did not know what to expect but that is what made it better. It was confusing but interesting. I hope we can do this again maybe not this year but some other time will be fine. I bet not to many people are willing to do what we did like hold hands with each other and kind of just be yourself, and I am glad we did this!

    • Carlina Moait says:

      I also found being able to particulate in the movement choir amazing. I have never experienced anything like this before. I am a very shy person and also felt like the movement choir allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. I found it interesting to see that everyone was getting involved and having a great time. I was apart of the black group and loved how we were acting like secret agents, hiding under tables, and spying on the red group. It was also funny to see how the people not involved in the movement choir acted towards our actions such as taking photos, pointing, and staring.

  65. Anastasha Franco says:

    I really enjoyed being apart of the movement choir. It wasn’t like anything that I have ever been apart of, but what really was the coolest thing to me was being apart of a production, being apart of a show, something so awesome with so many people. It wasn’t like watching a play or a show, we WERE the show. I know that some people thought it was stupid or didn’t understand but I honestly felt like those people weren’t letting themselves be free and willing instead they were too busy worrying about how dumb they looked or what other people would say and I felt like this was something so much bigger than just everyones insecurities.

    But most of all not only was I apart of the MC but I was also a leader so even though I had just as much participation as everyone else, I still felt as if I was helping like without Kristi and without the other leaders we wouldnt have achieved our goal of such an amazing once in a lifetime thing. I am so thankful for this experience.

  66. Gillian Kozminske says:

    I thought the movement choir was really interesting. I thought it was fun, yet odd. Exciting, yet nerve racking. All in all I think it really pushed the limits of students comfort zones. What I really love about Kristi was that she is not afraid to be an individual or unique in her own way. I envy her goal in getting people to step outside the box and live a little. Her perspectives on life seem to be very exciting and vivacious.

    At first when we started the movement choir I was a little uncomfortable and felt a lot of tension between the students. But as time went on and people started to open up, I noticed more smiles and a more energetic atmosphere. I think we need more of this in life, rather than people being so guarded in what they do in public or in front of their peers.

  67. John "Friend to the Animals" Carroll says:

    Tuesdays class was exceeding interesting! I’ve always been curious about movement choirs (although, I was unfamiliar with the actual term). Kristi offered an insight that was much greater than simply reading a Wikipedia page. Thanks to her, I’m well informed of an amazing expression, and Thursdays hands-on class will be most exciting!

    Also, the test went well, I felt great about it.

  68. Jon Giove says:

    I enjoyed Tuesday’s Class. I think it’s cool what Kristi does, and the Berlin movement choir she showed us was pretty interesting. I didn’t agree with Kristi’s statement about technology and how texting/facebooking has made us more impersonal. Texting is just another/shorter was of communicating. However, with the example of the couple on the subway texting away did somewhat prove her point, but everyone isn’t like that. I personally don’t text when I’m going out because its rude to the people your out with. I’m excited to see how this movement choir on campus is going to turn out, and whether or not everyone is going to come dressed in there color. I’ve seen the Grand Central Station video before and all the other videos by Improv Everywhere and im a big fan so being able to actually particapate in such an event is exciting.

  69. Matt Krzeczowski says:

    I really enjoyed the guest speaker one thing i would say though is when she was talking about technology i dont think every couple acts the same way as the couple she saw on the subway. I know when i go on dates the first thing i do is put my phone on silent because I think it is rude to be on your phone when your trying to spend time with someone and get to know them. I am nervous and excited for the movment choir. It looks like it is going to be an interesting experience and i am excited to see how this turns out.

  70. danapingatore says:

    I thought today’s movement choir was very interesting. I actually really like the idea of it, i think “flash mobs” are really fun. The movement was kind of similar, so i actually did kind of enjoy it. But i was in the black shirt group and it looked like the red shirt group was having a lot more fun than we were so i was kind of disappointed by that. I thought the classes on monday and wednesday were both interesting and i’m glad i got to experience it.

  71. Jamie Henry says:

    I found what Kristi addressed in class to be very intriguing.It seems that she looks at movement with a level of passion and appreciation that most others wouldn’t and it was interesting to hear her point of view. I believe that if I am able to overcome the awkwardness as well as my aprehensions during the movement choir that it will be a very moving experience. No pun intended.

  72. Brenna Schafer says:

    I really enjoyed the movement choir today. I thought it was very fun and interesting, especially how we were all interacting with one another. I also enjoyed the youtube videos we saw in class today and on Monday. My favorite was the one where everyone froze at the exact same time at Grand Central Station. I loved seeing the reactions of people and how they were so shocked! Even though I probably would have reacted the same way. It’s amazing on what a big impact the choir movement has on people.

    • Karl Loebach says:

      The video shot at Grand Central Station was the only one that I thought was pretty cool; the other movement choirs just seemed unorganized and boring. If I were to witness something like what happened at the station, I’d be laughing hysterically. Maybe it was just the few videos of movement choirs that we watched, but overall they seemed rather uninteresting. Sure, if I encountered one in person I’d stop and watch to see what they were doing, but they just seem like a bunch of drunk people. Not only drunk people, but boring drunk people. Either way, class on Thursday will be interesting!

  73. Abdulrahman Gobir says:

    Kristi really did a good job, and I was really interested in all the choir movement. The only thing that I did get in movement is that; I don’t know what the movements are trying to explain. I just do as I see other doing and I think it will be more interesting if we know what the movements are all about. Also, it fun because, that was only the time that someone can interact anyone at that moment, so it was really fun, and I wish this will happen again before the end of this this.

  74. Janelle Hueber says:

    What I found fascinating about the movement choirs is how much a specific message can truly get across just through a simple arrangement of movements or even only one single action. Through her work I really learned how loud a message can be when it is given by a group of people who believe and are participating in the same thing. What really suprised me about the movements she led us in was how awkward it was to shake a person’s hand that was sitting next to me. It really proved to me how impersonal ways of human interaction have become since technology such as texting have been introduced. Movement choirs focus on movements and human interaction as a whole, movement choirs can be seen as a method in preventing human movement, interaction, and emotion from becoming extinct.

    I am quite anxious to see what is in store for at the Richard Center for this Thursday. I can also say that I am quite nervous to see what is really going to happen. The idea of over 130 students participating in an exercise that will be videotaped seems to be somewhat intimidating. But from the videos that we were able to watch during class it really looks like it is going to be an exciting, unique, and new experience.

    • Chelsea Staples says:

      I couldn’t agree more Janelle. I found myself being completely absorbed in the lecture and the whole idea of a ‘movement choir.’ The videos along with the pictures we saw were thought provoking. However, I am not sure if there is more to their message than what I interpreted. Which is, just as you mentioned, how almost jarring it is for a handful of people to simultaneously move/mold themselves.

      As a society, we have gotten so comfortable with certain interactions (texting, e-mail) and so uncomfortable with others. For example, shaking hands with our neighbor was slightly awkward for most of us. However, texting a random person in the class to say “peace be with you,” not so difficult. I had a communications class where on the first day, we had to stare into our neighbors eyes without looking away for a minute! IT WAS TERRIBLE! We then went on to talk about personal space, how human movement and space connects with our interpersonal relationships.

      To sum it all up, I thought the videos were intriguing and entertaining. A beautiful statement about human movement and interaction. I am excited and anxious to see what tomorrow holds! Not too keen on being videotaped though..

  75. Eileen Keaty says:

    i enjoyed tuesdays class very much. I have seen the video she showed from grand central station a few times and i think it get more amazing every time. Those group of people have created numerous videos at many different places doing different things. Although its not the art you are used to seeing, it is there unique way of showing art. I think Ms. Spessard’s “choir movement” is kind of the same. Although its not as dramatic as the video we watched it gets reactions out of people.

    About the whole technology issue we talked about.I have to say i agree with what Kristi was saying. I think technology has hurt our communication skills. Now you could have an entire relationship with someone by never having to see them or actually talk to them. It inhibits our communication skills because you never have to see there face or reaction to what you are saying, and then when you actually meet in person you have difficulties talking to them.

  76. Alysha Gillison says:

    Although the movement choir event today got us out of the classroom and interacting with others I do not feel that I have learned anything today. I felt like we had to act as Kristi Spessard’s puppets so that she could make an “epic” youtube video. I am not really sure of the point she was trying to make by forcing everyone to participate. Yes, I did try my hardest to get into the movements but because not everyone was trying as hard as others, it just felt awkward.

    • Alexus Mendez says:

      i also agree on this. Most of the class members were barely giving effort, they were “half assing” because it was for a grade. If everyone would of actually put their mind and bodies into it, it wouldve been more enjoyable. It definitly wasnt what i was expecting, when i watched the youtube videos in class those were much more enjoyable, but when being Kristi’s puppets it was awkward and not fun! I didnt really learn much with this experience, besides art can come in different forms like movement…

  77. Raymond Allen says:


    I had never heard of a movement choir before so initially i was quite interested. Now im not bashing Ms. Spessard’s profession, but i didn’t realize that one can make an honest living… doing “movement choirs.” Not saying it is a bad thing that one follows their dream and does what they love, but to me. straight up it seems kind of dumb. I mean like the Grand Central Station was very cool, but a bunch of people waving their arms around in a park just looks like a bunch of people took a little too much mescaline. There is three things that really just got my goat in class tuesday, one of which i voiced. She claimed that technology is holding we as people back from our senses of touch and face to face communication… I know I’m not completely like those people she talked about on the subway train, but for shits and giggles lets give her ideals a shot. If what she said is true about what technology has done to our generation, i think it is completely overshadowed by the awesome advances we as a human race have had because of it. In the past 15 years health care, personal technology, communication, and even teaching have advanced 110% for the better. In her argument she claimed that cell phones and computers are making our bodies only used to finger movement and not using our body’s full potential. Well that is for the people that have no sense of personal fitness or social life, go to a gym, the club, or just hang out with friends that is how one simply solves that problem. But as i said in class since the mid 1990’s the worlds GDP has risen like 150% every few years like clockwork because of the communication technology we have at our fingertips today. If i had the knowledge two i could run a company in india most likely without ever even stepping foot on the continent of Asia… so i think that point is done. 2. It just upsets me how one gets to live the sweet life of living in New York and traveling all over the country and world to guest speak on this “art form,” i know people who work so hard their entire life just to try and support a family, I’m talking back breaking work. But this lady most likely makes double their pay for waving her arms and talking. Now don’t get me wrong, if i am missing something here and she is like a master engineer or something I’m sorry, but from what i have seen its not lookin like it. Plus i know that the world is just plain out unfair, i know this, but i just think it is messed up and had to say it. 3rd and lastly, the fact that like 200 people actually paid for plane tickets to Germany and New York just to wave their hands around for an hour or two is just dumb. Send the freaking money to Haiti or something you idiots. Its not like they were making some kind of statement (like the nude people in grand central station) if i saw that i would just laugh at them. So if you want call me like “a hater of modern art” but to me that is not art, its people just acting funny. That is my opinion so deal with it. Plus on top of that, if i was walking through the park and someone got in my face like that waving their hands and walking funny, i would lay them out straight up. I don’t know if they are like a crack head or something, its New York….
    This was not meant to offend anyone i mention again, just my opinions, and that is the point of blogging.

    • Mitchell Wither says:

      I agree with Ray. This lady seemed a little funny and wasn’t sure how much I liked what she was talking about. I mean the whole idea of movement choir, to me, just seems like people showing off. Ya cool, people can stand still in a subway, but for what reason, to say “hey look at us, we are defying the norms of what people do.” I dont get that. Ya I guess its art, but art to me is making something, accomplishing a task so timly and detailed that you can be proud to show other people; like paintings or sculptures. This shows off your talent, not airheadedness. I am skeptacle about tomorrow and this movement choir with Kristi, but will give it a shot.

    • Amanda Oswald says:

      Very good points (although harsh)! Even though I particularly enjoyed the movement choir, it isn’t a form of art. Like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder; someone else may think it is and that’s cool with me. In my opinion though, it was just a fun way to use our bodies and that’s that. That goes for the movement choir that we participated in atleast. If someone can provide a convincing argument otherwise I’d really like to hear what they have to say.

      I also think it’s ridiculous that someone is able to make a career out of doing movement choirs. That doesn’t mean I think Kristi is ridiculous, though. She seems like a kind and genuine person. And honestly, she must be doing something right if she’s able to make this work, right?! She’s very fortunate. Back to what I was saying, it’s ridiculous because SO many people work their hardest just to get by and still end up empty handed. That is if they can even find a job!
      Ok Ray, I’ve agreed with you up until now. I’m gonna have to agree with Kristi when it comes to the whole technology thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my technology! It definitely helps you to keep in touch with people who you wouldn’t get the chance to otherwise; I get to talk to my cousin in AZ whenever I want, for example. What I think Krisit meant, though, is that you lose a sort of PHYSICAL connectivity through technology. There’s such a big difference between texting your gf or bf “Ily” and taking the time to go to their house, say “I love you” and give them a hug. Or think of how much harder it would be to tell someone bad news if you said it to their face rather than over the phone. I think that’s all she meant by saying that. I definitely don’t think she meant to say that technology is bad. But anyway, nice blog entry! Really got me to think about what you had to say.

  78. Sylvia Seklecki says:

    Kristi Spessard showed me another type of choir that I have never even heard of before. I did not know there was a movement choir until she came into class. Usually when I think of a choir it’s a group of people singing together. But a movement choir deals with moving and not singing. The thing that surprised me the most is the way that people move, because it does not seem like it is a dance but more of just the way you want to dance. There is no structure to it, just go with the flow. Well that is what it seemed to me when we saw the video. Today should be an interesting class, I am scared for it but also excited to see what we actually have to do any how everything will turn out.

  79. Andrea Terenzi says:

    I am really excited for tomorrow. I have a feeling we are going to be doing some pretty interesting things. I have never heard of a movement choir but I think it is going to be a lot of fun! It is definitely going to be something new for me! I really liked Kristi. She has a lot of energy and you can tell she loves what she does for a living. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us tomorrow!

  80. Sarah Crisp says:

    I have never heard of movement choir before so it definately prompted me to learn more about it and how it is different from dance in general. Although I was confused most of the class peroid as to where the whole lecture was leading to I also found myself intrigued and alert, unlike when some other guest speakers came in. I thought doing the wave was kind of silly but it was also fun and woke me up a lot. Kristi seems like a very nice sweet person who is very into what she does- i’m not sure if movement choir will exactly be my ‘thing’ but i’m definately anticipating class on thursday and excited for the chance to be introduced to something new even if it may be outside of my comfort zone. I know that my friends and i are kind of nervous since we dont know exactly what to expect. I definately knwo that I dont like being the center of attention so I hope the camera skips over me!

    I also liked the video of grand central station. I found it very funny, creative and amusing. I dont know what i’d do if I went there and saw people doing that- I joked around saying i’d join in but i probably would be way too confused. Knowing me I’d run around asking everyone what’s going on and probably approach the ‘frozen’ people. Although it was amusing what exactly is the point of such actions? Its funny and jars reaction from people but I would have liked ot discuss if there was any other motive behind it or some kind of statement that was trying to be made.

    • Kendra Kerbs says:

      I also agree with Sarah, I have never heard of movement choir but I am excited to learn more about it. I really enjoyed class on Tuesday. I am excited and a little nervous for class today. Although I am not exactly sure what to expect, I am going to try to keep an open mind throughout the class. I thought that Kristi Spessard seemed very passionate about what she does and I am very interested to see what she will be having us doing on Thursday. I thought that it was really interesting watching the examples of a choir movement. It was entertaining to watch the reactions of people that were pretending to be frozen at the Grand Central Station. I found the idea behind “pass the peace” to be very interesting and how touch or movement can change the mood and atmosphere of a group of people. In high school I was involved in a few large scale art installation projects and in one of them we had a group of dancers that moved through our installation and Kristi Spessard example reminded me of that. I am very exited to see what we will be doing and how we will be involved.

  81. Katie Brighton says:

    The Movement Choir was something that I had never heard of before; I don’t think many of us had. It was a really interesting to see people do that and at first I didn’t really understand why they were doing it. After class I started to think about Krissti and her movement and that it really makes people actually look around them and see whats going on. We get so wrapped up in our everyday lives that we forget who we are and forget the people around us. It’s like we don’t need the face to face connection with people anymore because we have our cell phones and computers. It’s crazy to think about really. Hardly ever do we come out of our shell to people we don’t know. We don’t want to be looked at for doing something that isn’t normal. But when did standing up and showing who you are become abnormal!? It’s really sad. I think today is going to be uncomfortable for most but I have a feeling its going to be a great experience.

    • Alex Jones says:

      Yesterday’s class was indeed interesting. What I got from Kristi’s form of dance is the act of being abnormal, not being afraid to come out of your shell and do what you feel is normal. Everyone tries to fit in or adapt to what is “cool,” because there is a fear of rejection from people who may think that they’re “weird.” I think our generation needs to have a better sense of open-mindedness and acceptance. Even though people are different, that doesn’t make them any less fun to be around. I also agree with how today’s technology has affected connections between human beings. In all honesty, I am a prime example of not knowing how to connect with people on a face-to-face level. Finding out about a person via text message is not “real” as a face-to-face conversation. It’s something that I would like to learn to do, and something I wish other people would learn also. The Movement Choir will definitely be a way to experience human being connections. Maybe more people will become more open-minded.

  82. Katie Krafft says:

    I have never heard of a movement choir until Kristi came into class yesterday. It was really interesting to learn about and actually see it on the you tube videos. I don’t really know what to expect for class on Thursday, I guess I am open to whatever she has in store for us. From the impression that I got in class on Tuesday its probably going to be something way out of the ordinary.

    • Benjaminn Davis says:

      I was the same way, I had never heard of “a movement choir” after seeing videos on you tube and hearing from Kristi what is exactly was….I was interested in learning and seeing more. I actually went home and did more research and watched more videos on it, and I’m anxious to see what we will be doing Thursday!!

  83. candie Jepma says:

    Kristi Spessard, is a fascinating person. I think what she does is amazing, and I give her the upmost appreciation. I volunteered to be a leader along with a few others, and Kristi has amazing enthusiasum about what she does. The things we did seemed strange and out of the ordinary for me, but she made it so interesting it was easy to get into motion. I respect her because it takes courage to step out of the box, and do something that makes you stand out (silent or not). I found out that most people don’t even notice others unless they are doing something out of the ordinary or making a scene. Personally I think it’s sad that we become so absorbed into our own worlds ( headphones, texting,etc) that the people around us don’t matter. I feel we should feel each others presence and acknowledge that we are not alone on the road, sidewalk, walks to class, and in the class itself. Today I’m a little nervous because I’m really stepping out of my box and being a leader which I’m not really used to being. This activity is going to be fun if others are willing to participate, and no matter how silly you feel go along with it. I’m not going to lie it’s going to be uncomfortable, but it’s a different and exciting experience!!. Not to mention it’s going to be video taped, so if you’re not going to participate you’ll be the ones really standing out (think of the wave we did in class).With the activity we’re doing today try and feel the presence of your surroundings. Feel the space your in and pay attention to others around you, this will help with the group activities. I wish everyone the best of luck, and I ask please help your leaders by listening and joining in already it’s difficult to be standing out but to do it and teach others infront of a group too is harder. So thanks in advance and let’s have fun today 🙂

  84. Brendan Laney says:

    Kristi Spessard appears to be a very bubbly and enthusiastic person. The movement choir is something I’ve never seen before. It was very interesting to watch the video at Penn Station and see all the spectator’s reactions. I wonder if I was there how long it would have taken me to notice all those people being completely still.
    I guess I was surprised we were doing the wave in class. I thought it was fun and it livened the class up. My feelings regarding whatever we are going to be doing on Wednesday are a little skeptical. I guess it could be fun but I just don’t know what to expect. I hope it is fun and turns out well.

  85. Tierene Coleman says:

    When I had read on DEARTS that we were going to be doing movement choir I didnt know what to expect. As the class went on I learned that it is a great for of art done in silence in only expression with the body! This is done to express ones self and sometimes to make a point I think it is genius to make such a loud statement and not peep one word. I am really excited for what may happen tomorrow it will be a great experience for me as well as everyone who truly puts there mind, character and cooperation into it. I hope that it will be a great act that will go down in Western’s hitory!

  86. Jessica Ladd says:

    I think what Kristi does is interesting. Movement is a very important part of our lives and I don’t think we realize that. Everything we do is movement, breathing is movement. I also liked the point she made about people touching. People don’t really touch anymore. People are afraid of germs or doon’t want to invade personal space. Whenever I think of touching I always remember the line from the movie “Crash:” ‘It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” I know it doesn’t relate to all people but even small touches like touching your arm can make someone feel better. Makes them feel human again.

    I was surprised people didn’t completely embrace the movements exercises, like the wave when she said to use your voice. As for Wednesday, I think it will be interesting, maybe a little awkward, but it’ll be good in the end.

    • Heather Ring says:

      I completely agree with you. I loved Kristi Spressard and what she is all about. I find the movement choirs so fascinating! If Kristi wouldn’t have come to our class to talk about thisI probably never would have heard about it.

      The exercises about touch also caught me off guard, but I really enjoyed them and took them in to the fullest. America has for sure lost the sense of touch and I think that we should start that movement and get the world back to being friendly and energized around other people and not nervous around new people

      I think Thursday will be interesting. I am nervous about what this class will bring. I don’t think people will do the exercises to the fullest and not take it serious. But at the same time I think Kristi will for sure open up the shy people and show our class how to make movement with people and I think it will bring our class and school closer in some ways!

      • Heather Ring says:

        I also loved the YouTube video of the people doing the movement exercise at Grand Central Station. Some people seemed shocked and I think I would have that reaction too!! I wouldn’t know what was going on….I would also have questions and comments….and I think those people did a good job on pulling people in with interest.

  87. Benjamin Davis says:

    I really think Kristi was a great speaker and i’m a little worried about thursday, although excited to see what it will bring. The whole “wave” thing was odd at first, but prof.Solomon brought up a good point that if were all suppost to be doing something strange and the people that just sit there and act normal are the ones that look out of place. It was fun to actually interact with the speaker and do something instead of just sitting and listening the whole class!

    • Nicholas S. Morrall says:

      I agree. At first I thought to myself, “it’s stupid that we are doing the wave in the middle of a lecture hall,” but once everyone got in to it, it was actually pretty interesting. Seeing the the varying degrees of participation was also very interesting. people who were , “too cool”, just looked out of place and were actually the one’s who looked strange and out of place.

  88. Vince King says:

    It seems to me like the whole dance choir thing is pretty far out there. It was odd seing people just moving around in public areas. They weren’t dancing really, just doing various movements. The images of the naked people in Grand Central Station and on the mountain kind of blew my mind. I don’t know how you would recruit people to do something like that. The whole things seems a little strange to me. I am curious about what tomorrow is going to bring…

    • Katelyn Graal says:

      I agree I find the whole movement choir thing,from the youtube videos I do not find it artsy or dance like at all. Maybe it will be different tomorrow but I have a feeling a lot of people will not get into to so I don’t think it will work out the way she wants it to but people may and maybe it will work. I totally agree with her technology comments, our generation is too into their phones and computers and we don’t know the emotions coming from our friends through the phone. She was a great speaker and really wanted us to join in so I am kind of excited about what she will be doing with us tomorrow.

    • Shelby Rubel says:

      I thought yesterdays class was very odd. She was a great speaker however, but I’m pretty sure the class doing the “wave” was a very small preview for what is going to happen tomorow, and to be honest I’m slightly scared.

      I also found it interesting that this is involved with occupational therapy. I’m an OT student right now and I can tell you right now that If I someday become an occupational therapist, I will not also be a “movement artist”.

    • Susan Whitenight says:

      I also didn’t find the movements to be artistic, or even beautiful, but I think it may be something much deeper. I recently deactivated my Facebook because it was no longer personal. It’s an easy effortless way to “keep in touch”, but it is also meaningless. People I was once friends with became my “Facebook friends” while people I talk to on the phone, or in person stayed or became my real friends. To me, and many others I know spending an hour of “quality time” together is much better than a few wall posts here and there. I think what Kristi is doing is great, she is helping people connect in a way that is on the verge of extinction.

      • Courtney Sauter says:

        I agree with all of the above comments. I didn’t find the movement choir to be all that enjoyable or very artsy for that matter. I think that Kristi was a good speaker and enjoys her work and is good at it, but I didn’t find it all that interesting and on the level of connecting with people I found it a bit awkward. I’m not shy and like to meet new people but to be linking hands or what not with random people was kind of weird.

  89. Steven Betten says:

    I was not really surprised by the movements she put us through. I guess maybe I thought it would be a little more artsy, rather than the “wave.” I think thursday should be interesting, it will depend on the students if it is fun or not.

  90. Tamara Spradlin says:

    I really enjoyed our guest speaker Kristi Spessard. I didn’t catch what professor Solomon said about her is she an occupational therapist who encorporates dance or did it get confused?Kristi was very pleasant and I liked her great energy. The movement choir kind of reminded me of Tai Chi, how one can be anywhere and produce movement.I think thurday will be interesting and fun.

  91. T'kara Carter says:

    I liked the different demonstrations of movement choir that Kristi had the class participate in. It was very interesting and it kept me entertained. Although i don’t 100% agree with her statement about technology, i do feel like technology does limit our interaction with each other so i understand where she’s coming from in that aspect.

  92. Melissa McChesney says:

    I am very excited about the movement choir, yet i don’t really understand the meaning. I am thinking it is supposed to take people out of their comfort zones, and see the different reactions of the public. It will be interesting to see if everyone in the class will actually participate, because in class some people couldn’t even leave their comfort zone to stand and wave. i am excited to see the outcome of Wednesday’s class 🙂

  93. as i liked it says:

    One of my favorite parts of As You Like It was when Rosalind kneed the clown during a humerous exchange. Hilarious…right in the “nuts”!

  94. Adam Osiecki says:

    Im a little nervous and excited about this. From the youtube videos looks like we are going to be participating in quite the spectacle. I can definitely see why this grabs peoples attention. People these days are losing touch with personal connections and personal interactions. To see people in public performing and acting this way definitely stirs things up. Im curious to see if this will be recorded in any way.

    Life starts at the edge of your comfort zone and i will definitely be living wednesday during class. Apparently its supposed to be raining. If we are going to be doing this around campus we should probably bring extra clothes. Im nervous about this. Usually not comfortable acting this way in front of others. Should be quite the experience.

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